Ryszard Merey's first book, the graphic novel a+e 4ever, was a Stonewall Honor Books in Children's and Young Adult Literature. His new novel, A Father for Lilja, offers a lyrical tale of gender identity and the complexities of family, both biological and chosen. At her summer home in Provence, Jain is infatuated with her cousin Viju, who returns the interest but distance soon separates the pair. As an adult, Jain finds love with Nine, a young man who bears a resemblance to Viju. But Nine has a lover, Emilio/Emilia, ambiguously gendered. Merey weaves a novel that encapsulates the passions of creativity, memory, and the reality of romance.